Within the next two weeks, the Iowa Senate will be debating early-childhood-education legislation (HF877) to create new programs that will provide voluntary preschool education for four-year-olds. The concept is a good one, but the current proposal has some problems.

Although I have not been a dedicated reader of the Reader, I have never seen criticism of it as "anti-business." (See "Defining Pro-Business News," River Cities' Reader Issue 622, February 28-March 6, 2007.) What people need to understand is that criticism is often a great way for businesses to understand their weaknesses and improve on them. Since a business can never objectively look at itself, it should rely on the feedback of clients and the community to identify and solve problems or expand and grow.

Davenport has a glorious history of birthing newspapers - 150 in 171 years. Yet even the mud-caked, hand-cranked press of the old Daily Gazette, which fell off the gangplank into the river, could have printed a clearer picture than the Quad-City Times as to what Davenport citizens will lose if their council eliminates all four standing committees.

It was the Gisswold v. Connecticut case in 1965 that struck down state laws prohibiting married couples from using birth control; the law was ruled unconstitutional because it violated marital privacy, a right protected by the Constitution.

On August 4, 2005, the publisher of the River Cities' Reader, the Quad-City Times city-hall reporter, and an Argus/Dispatch journalist strategically positioned themselves outside the doors of City Hall, just as the city attorney unlocked them at 6 p.m., allowing the media through, then re-locking the doors behind them. They had finally gained entrance to the elusive "Governance Committee" meetings.

It was the Gisswold v. Connecticut case in 1965 that struck down state laws prohibiting married couples from using birth control; the law was ruled unconstitutional because it violated marital privacy, a right protected by the Constitution.

The article "Buildings That Breathe" makes some great points overall, but the homesteading movement is not dead, and not just in California. (See River Cities' Reader Issue 616, January 17-23, 2007.) There are many alternative building/energy conferences one can go to in Wisconsin, Iowa, and Illinois focusing on straw-bale construction, log construction, and alternative heating/energy for the cabin set. There are many publications that cater to the modern homesteader.

Last week's remarks regarding Cingular were well-developed and -thought-out. (See "The Cingular Deal: What Could Have Been," River Cities' Reader Issue 613, December 27, 2006-January 2, 2007.) I, like you, understand you can't force a company to choose downtown. I also understand our city may have tried to encourage a downtown site.

I spent yesterday researching biodiesel technology and companies to invest in, and then I picked up the Reader and saw your request for information on local stations that sell it.

These links are to maps and lists of stations that sell E85 and biodiesel across the country. Click here for E85 Stations. Click here for Biodiesel stations.

I just want to say that I think the corn-based biodiesel is just setting corn farmers up for a big bust. Corn will yield 18 gallons of biodiesel per acre, while algae will produce 10,000. (Yields of common crops: click here.) I'm putting my money on algae biodiesel.

The controversy over "Happy Holidays" rather than "Merry Christmas" requires that we examine what has happened to our right to "petition the government for a redress of grievances." This is one of our inherent and inalienable rights. We have a "property" in that right. This means that any prior restraint placed on that right constitutes a "taking of property without due process of law" unless we are given something of equal value in return.

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